POLICE DETAIN DOZENS OF KHODORKOVSKY SUPPORTERS

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MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) - Public protesters picketed the law court today as it was announcing the verdict on the Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev case. Several dozen refused to leave the site after their authorized time was over, 2 p.m., and were seized by police. A bus appeared, and twenty to thirty were shoved in.

Meshchansky district court pickets-several hundred activists of the Yabloko and Right Forces' Union, or SPS, reform parties, and other protesters-were chanting slogans in support of Khodorkovsky, former Yukos proprietor, and Lebedev, Menatep transnational finance group CEO. They came down on judicial proceedings in general. Several dozen reporters who had not made it into the courtroom joined them.

Police forced the protesters back into the pavement as they upset iron railings to get into the road to shouts of, "Free Khodorkovsky!" The noise was perfectly audible in courtroom to accompany sentence reading.

Police acted tough after the picket term expired.

Sentence reading will go on tomorrow.

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